Julius Randle is now a three-time All-Star for the Knicks and deserves praise for how he settled down and played his game this season.
Julius Randle is quite an enigma for the New York Knicks. He’s simultaneously the team’s best scorer, especially when he gets downhill and gets into his bully ball bag, but sometimes the team’s biggest drag, often missing defensive assignments and forcing the club to play four-on-five as a result.
Randle has obviously had a successful tenure with the Knicks so far, though. A now three-time All-Star with the team, in a way he’s been the savior that this fan base and this team have been looking for for quite some time, especially with the memories of those Carmelo Anthony-led teams and those ’90s, gritty and hard-nosed teams starting to get some company with this new echelon of Knicks play in the 2020s.
Yet, even with these accolades and his impact on this Knicks team, there’s a myriad of opinions about him from fans online, beat writers, and national coverage teams trying to decipher what exactly the Randle experience is.
I asked folks on Twitter to give me one word to describe Julius Randle. I got a ton of responses. They included:
I agree with all of these in the sense that, at minimum, I have thought of him like this at least once when watching him play for the Knicks. But, just like opinions, he can change – and has. He has gone from the guy who would beyblade his way into a basket or turnover during his first few years with New York, making the entirety of Madison Square Garden groan, to the guy that fans lovingly refer to as “a dawg” in ode to his brutal play style and ability to make something out of nothing on offense.
Regardless of how you feel about Randle the person, Randle the player, Randle the dawg, or Randle the savior, it’s simple and effective just to say Randle is incredibly good at the sport of basketball and has made an indelible mark on not just this franchise, but specifically, this year’s team that is vying for something grander than simply getting out of the second round of the postseason. He seems to have shed the skin of the enigma he was to start his time with New York, although he absolutely still shows some signs of his old self with decision-making and, as mentioned, lapses on defense. But, he is simply not given enough credit for finally getting back to acting as the engine for this team, one that is going to be sorely missed as the Knicks look to maintain prime postseason positioning and keep pace with other Eastern Conference juggernauts.